Grilling season is in full swing and it is time you thought about tossing out the old rusty model you have been clinging to for so many years. We have a little guidance in selecting a new model that will not only impress your neighbors, but ease you through many summers ahead. Unlike our pal Hank Hill, we prefer using real charcoal for a better tasting product.
When using charcoal, we recommend natural lump charcoal and not briquettes which can be laced with undesirable ingredients. Lump charcoal burns hot, and with some brands your grill can reach over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect for grilling steaks. You just can’t get this kind of heat out of briquettes. Plus there is very little waste cleanup with natural charcoal.
Here are a few of our favorite grills.
The Big Green Egg You have undoubtedly seen these magnificent machines in backyards before, but do you understand why they are sought after and so expensive? The engineering and craftsmanship behind the Green Egg is incredible. Lighting the charcoal is quick and easy, as the design of the Big Green Egg allows air flow to work like a fireplace. You can grill, smoke and bake at exact temperatures by easily adjusting the air flow controls. You have total control over temperature at your fingertips, maintaining accuracy within a few degrees. The high-quality ceramics used in each and every EGG will not crack or deteriorate over time, and many Eggs are passed down to the next generation.
Traeger Pro Series 22: Traeger Wood Fired Grill cooks using wood pellets instead of chunks, and uses an automatic auger to keep the fire lit and maintain desired temperatures. There are other, similar barbecues on the market, but Traeger is credited with being the first. Cook like a pro, without all the work. The Traeger Pro Series 22 makes it easier than ever to cook delicious wood-fired food. Whether you’re craving low-and-slow BBQ brisket, savory roasted chicken, or gourmet wood fire pizza, the Pro Series 22 does it with ease. The Digital Pro Controller uses Advanced Grilling Logic to automatically maintain its temperature within 15°F. With the included secondary cooking rack, the Pro Series 22 has a total cooking area of 572 square inches—so you can invite over your friends and show off for your “skills”.
Hasty Bake The Hasty Bake is one incredible grilling device. But like other top notch grills, it also smokes and bakes with ease. The key to perfect grilling is temperature control, and the Hasty Bake cooks with precision accuracy. Plus you have the ability to raise and lower your cooking surface with the use of a hand crank. The grilling surface is large and enables you to cook plenty of meat at one time.
Each Hasty Bake allows for easy access as well. There is a door or compartment in each feature of the grill. The Hasty Bake’s are made to withstand time, and are heavily powder coated. Should you need to perform any needed repairs over time, the grill is super easy to work with and all parts are readily available.
Napoleon Mirage M730 If propane is your choice, and certainly gas offers versatility and speed, you will want the power of high BTU’s the Mirage has to offer. This unit has a combined power of up to 106,000 BTU’s which is incredible for a mid range unit at its price point. This unit also has many creature comforts like back-lit knobs, a built-in ice bucket and cutting board that would most likely appeal to those wanting to use gas. The Mirage is a hybrid grill using both infrared and gas technologies for maximum heat and is made with a thick stainless steel so the unit will last for many years.
La Caja China For those just looking to smoke large cuts of meat such as a whole pig, the La Caja China is the choice of many local chefs for its ease of use, quickness and control. The La Caja China roasting box is a fairly unique cooker, especially if you’re used to the traditional smokers and/or spit roasters. The best way to describe it is a giant Dutch Oven. It’s a large rectangular box that’s constructed out of aluminum lined plywood. A butterflied roasting pig gets sealed inside, and then a charcoal fire is lit on the racks sitting on top of the box. The heat from the fire presses down on our little piggy friend, cooking him to perfection in a mere 4 hours. The boxes start at around $200.
Weber Smokey Joe This little classic charcoal grill is best used when size and expense are major factors. The price point is the lowest and the performance high. You can pop one of the little Smokey Joes in the truck for amazing portability when on a picnic, tailgating or camping. Happy grilling!